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Ontario Hunter Education Program

The Ontario Hunter Education Program will assist you to understand the natural world and become a knowledgeable and responsible hunter. The program provides introduction information about:

  • ecosystems and wildlife management

  • hunting laws and regulations

  • hunter responsibilities

  • identification, biology, management of and hunting techniques for big game, small game and waterfowl.

  • hunting and survival equipment

  • the hunter’s role in society.


The program also reinforces the firearms safety information contained in the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.  New hunters of all ages must take hunter education training and pass an exam before they can purchase their first hunting licence.  

The Ontario Hunter Education Program is administered by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  In 1960, Ontario became the first Canadian province to establish a mandatory Hunter Education course that included training on safe and responsible hunting.  More than one million individuals have successfully completed hunter education training.  

Hunting in Ontario

To get a resident hunting licence in Ontario, most people need to pass the Ontario Hunter Education Program, including a written exam.   When you pass the course, you’ll receive a copy of the Ontario Hunter Education Examination Report. You need to bring your copy to a participating Service Ontario location that provides hunting licence services to register your hunter accreditation. You will then be able to buy hunting licences and tags and apply to big game draws. A valid Outdoors Card is required before you can purchase hunting products.

You must follow all federal firearm regulations and carry appropriate documentation if you are hunting with a gun.

Canadian Firearms Safety Course

If you want to hunt using a gun, you must have successfully completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, and hold one of the following:

  • a valid possession and acquisition licence

  • a valid minor’s licence

  • proof of completing the course


If you are a non-resident and reside outside of Canada, you must have one of the following:

  • a valid non-resident firearms declaration form confirmed by a Canadian customs officer

  • a valid temporary firearms borrowing licence for non-residents.


The Canadian Firearms Safety Course is administered through the Canadian Firearms Program.

One-stop course


Many instructors offer a convenient one-stop course that combines the:

  • Ontario Hunter Education Program

  • Canadian Firearms Safety Course


The courses can also be taken separately.

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